On April 19th, the Reds fired Bryan Price who started the year 3-15. Price, who began managing in 2014, had only a 279-387 record with the Reds. The Reds have finished last in the NL central the last 4 seasons, having lost 94 games in each season as well. So what needs to change? As a fan, it is pretty obvious. The Cincinnati Reds do not have a bullpen and their owner is too involved. For a brief moment, I thought that had changed. When the Reds traded for Matt Harvey on May 8th, everyone knew it was just temporary. But when the trade deadline came and passed, Harvey was kept on the roster due to a close, personal relationship with Reds owner Bob Castellini.
First and foremost, I love the Castellini’s. Having met them, they are great people who have done a ton of good for the city, but he needs to stay out of the baseball operations. He is not George Steinbrenner, so he needs to stop acting like him. The Reds took on a ton of money, 18.7 million to be exact. The whole intention was to get him good again and flip him. Harvey went 4-1, bringing his record to 5-5 and then they kept him due to Castellini. Another issue with the Reds, is their bullpen.
The Reds bullpen is atrocious. Amir Garrett, one of the biggest dickheads in the game, is so inconsistent. He will strike out Rizzo every opportunity he gets but will then allow 5 runs the next game he pitches. Michael Lorenzen is the one exception. He hits dingers. The Reds had the 7th worst pitching staff with an average 4.63 ERA. They constantly started Homer Bailey, who the Reds were 1-18 in every game he pitched this season. They rushed Luis Castillo, who led the team in strikeouts, wins, and ERA but he eventually found his stride. Anthony DeSclafani went 7-8, which considering the rest of the starter’s records, is pretty decent. The Reds blew a ton of saves too, having two of their pitchers in the top 20 of blown saves. This offseason they need to spend the money to solidify their bullpen and get rid of Homer and Harvey.
The Reds have a bright side, in fact a huge bright side. Their offense. The Reds are a very young team with amazing talent. Their hitting alone, has put them in a place all their own. They are 2nd in grand slams this year, behind only the Red Sox. They are first in grand slams by pitchers, thanks to Michael Lorenzen. They have a top 5 hitter in batting average with Scooter Gennett. They have Eugenio Suarez who is hitting .283 with 34HR’s and 104RBI’s, oh and he missed a month due to injury. They have Joey Votto, who is hitting .284 and is nothing but consistent. And they have a ton more talent with the likes of José Peraza, Dilson Herrera, Phillip Ervin, and the 8th best farm system in the MLB (according to mlb.com). Expect the Reds to call up Hunter Greene and Nick Senzel within the first few weeks, and the Reds will improve, as long as they pick the right manager.
The Reds managerial search is their highest priority right now. There are plenty of exciting options, like Joe Giradi, John Farrell, Jim Riggleman, and Brad Ausmus. Knowing the Reds, meaning they only promote from within, they are only realistically looking at 3 of those: Farrell, Riggleman, and Hatcher. Farrell, the ex-Red Sox skipper who led them to a World Series and a few AL East crowns, would be an interesting hire, however, he seems like the least likely to take the job. Riggleman took over for Price in April and led the team to an overall 64-80 in his tenure. I think he has a good chance of winning the job, due to his ability to take over mid-season and kind of turn the season around. This Reds team, at one point, was streaking hot and had the chance to make the wild card, then they failed. Billy Hatcher, the fan favorite, has zero experience. Kind of like this team. His chances are medium, due to the fact he is a beloved Reds player. Joe Giradi is an interesting choice, but he had issues communicating with a young Yankees team, and the Reds are as young as it gets so it makes no sense. My hire would be Brad Ausmus. Ausmus currently works in the Angels front office and is viewed as an analytical-minded manager. Ausmus led the Tigers to an AL Central crown in his first season and kept the Tigers relatively relevant, well as much as you can with the Tigers. What I like about him is he is analytically minded. He is also a young manager, who fought for his team and this Reds crowd could get behind him and make him beloved in Reds country.